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Top 10 Marvel Anti-Heroes

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
Written by Michael Wynands These characters might save the day, but they aren’t what you’d necessarily call “do-gooders”. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for Top 10 Marvel Anti-Heroes. For this list, we are looking characters who fight the good fight, but do so in their own morally ambiguous way. Though our definition of anti-hero is relatively inclusive, we will NOT be considering straight up villains who have a habit of occasionally teaming up with the goods guys when it suits them. Sorry, Magneto.
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These characters might save the day, but they aren’t what you’d necessarily call “do-gooders”. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for Top 10 Marvel Anti-Heroes.

For this list, we are looking characters who fight the good fight, but do so in their own morally ambiguous way. Though our definition of anti-hero is relatively inclusive, we will NOT be considering straight up villains who have a habit of occasionally teaming up with the goods guys when it suits them. Sorry, Magneto.

#10: Ghost Rider


He’s the Spirit of Vengeance. Now does that really sound like someone who’s going to play nice? Not likely. The Ghost Rider mantle has been taken up by a number of characters over the years, including but not limited to Johnny Blaze, Danny Ketch and Robbie Reyes. The powers they wield while possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance varies from person to person, but what they all share in common is their dedication to avenging and protecting the innocent, as well as their willingness to dish out brutal punishment to evildoers in the process.

#9: Blade


Half human, half vampire - one hundred percent badass. This day walking hybrid might’ve been intended as a supporting character when he debuted in the pages of “The Tomb of Dracula” in 1973, but according to creator Marv Wolfman, Blade was such a promising new addition that he had to rein him in or risk having him overshadow the book’s core cast. This is Blade we’re talking about though, and as his foes will tell you… there’s no holding him back. By the 1990s, this antihero had truly come into his own, earning himself a place amongst various groups, his own series and a film trilogy. Blade’s merciless in his handling of the undead, but hey, he keeps the streets safe.

#8: Moon Knight


Marc Spector never had what you would call a smooth or easy life. A boxer turned soldier turned mercenary, Spector fell into heroics when his attempted robbery of an archeological site when sideways and he was left for dead. Following circumstances too strange to recount succinctly, Spector was saved by the Egyptian god of vengeance, Khonshu, to serve as his earthly agent. Again… vengeance kinda disqualifies a character from straightforward superheroics, and with his penchant for committing absolutely brutal acts against those deems “bad guys,” Moon Knight has earned the label anti-hero. He’s also extremely unstable, which makes him both a little terrifying and totally fascinating.

#7: Black Cat


You know what heroes don’t generally do? Steal! Black Cat might have a villain’s profession, but whenever the stakes become larger than a question of personal property, she’s always on the right side of the conflict. Over the years, the woman behind the diamond mask, Felicia Hardy, has repeatedly put her pilfering ways aside in order to help the web-slinger, either to bring down a villain that threatens the lives of innocents or to help Spidey out of a jam. Despite her life of crime, she has consistently been portrayed as one of Spider-Man’s most reliable allies. She lives life by her own ethical code, and you’ve gotta love her for it!

#6: The Winter Soldier


What do you get when you take a young sidekick, seemingly kill him in a plane crash, remove his left arm, train him to be a Soviet assassin and then release him on the world? Well, you wind up with one seriously damaged individual, who, despite recovering his memories and reintegrating into western society and siding with the good guys again, will struggle to suppress those darker urges and knee-jerk assassin-type tendencies. The reality is… though Bucky came back from the dead, he was never the same light-hearted sidekick again. The Winter Soldier fights the good fight, but he does it with ruthless efficiency you rarely see in heroes.

#5: Elektra


Sometimes she’s a hero, working alongside Daredevil towards noble ends. Other times, she’s acting as an assassin. Suffice it to say… she’s complicated, but Daredevil can’t help but love her, and comics book readers are right there with him. With her complex history, deadly sai, and martial arts skills that can rival the Daredevil’s own, Elektra Natchios isn’t just some love interest - she’s one of the most beloved anti-heroines in the industry. After the character's creator Frank Miller killed her off in the early ‘80s, he wanted her to stay out of publication, but she proved too compelling a character to leave on the sideline, and she went on to star in various titles.

#4: Venom


When this character made his debut… he was a villain, plain and simple - albeit one of the coolest rogues to ever grace the pages of a Spider-man comic. What made Venom so compelling, apart from the obviously cool concept of a symbiote, was the underlying sentiment that fueled Eddie Brock. From the moment it bonded with Brock, Venom was a tortured, complex character, driven by conflicting emotions. This alien-host team was also just so consistently impressive - a true force to be reckoned with. Eddie Brock is far from perfect, but over the years, he learned to use his powers in the name of those less fortunate, and in the process, transitioned from badass villain to even more badass antihero.

#3: Deadpool


The Merc with a Mouth requires no introduction after forcing the world to pay attention to his hilariously over top, hyper-violent and all-around super fun eponymous film. Deadpool makes Marc Spector, aka Moon Knight, look like a well-adjusted individual compared to his unbridled insanity. One moment Wade Wilson wants to be a hero and X-Men member, the next he couldn’t care less. He frequently rubs shoulders with more conventional heroes, only to horrify them with his willingness to kill and generally absurdist approach to life. Cable is pretty much the only one who can stand him. He’s truly a one-of-a-kind antihero. Just don’t tell Deathstroke we said that, k?

#2: The Punisher


The Punisher is the man that the Marvel Universe needs, but doesn’t want to know about - at least, that’s what he seems to think. After losing his family to a mob hit after a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Frank Castle put his expert military training to brutal use by making himself into a one-man army and waging war on crime. According to his editor, Steven Wacker, Castle has 48, 502 kills to his name… and counting! Rapist, pedophiles, drug lords, mobsters, and murderers beware… no violent criminal is safe from the Punisher. Heroes might not be able to handle his brand of justice, but readers sure eat it up!

#1: Wolverine


He’s the best there is at what he does, but what he does isn't very nice. This mutant Canucklehead comes equipped with 6 razor sharp claws, a skeleton coated in adamantium, and an accelerated healing factor - not really a toolkit for saving kittens from trees or helping little old ladies to cross the street. Wolverine might have a rough exterior, but he’s really got a heart of gold and moral compass that always reads true. The thing is, he has zero qualms about shedding blood or taking the lives of those who stand between him and his objective. When Logan’s in town, you either get on the right side of an issue or face the claws.
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